Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baking via Recipe

Another "bread" I've made is cinnamon pull-apart bread. Another Pinterest sighting, and I knew I had to make it! This was one of those breads that you knew nothing could go wrong. I mean... sweet dough, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, butter ... ahhhhhh!

Pros: Easy recipe, great looking bread, smelled fab when you baked it!
Cons: Don't overstuff your bread pan (or use too small of one like I did, causing me to cram it full) because then it won't cook thoroughly in the bottom and middle.
Suggestions: If you don't like nutmeg, then don't use it in the recipe. I really do not like nutmeg and it's painfully obvious that I didn't even know a little nutmeg can go a long way. Nutmeg has a spicy flavor to it that I just don't like and honestly I ate a couple pieces and was done with this loaf. I plan to make this again, same recipe minus the nutmeg!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Crafty Projects

For Valentine's Day, I made some heart garland and ran it all through my sewing machine to make a few long pieces. I never knew you could just keep "sewing" with nothing there to sew on. It just makes a twisty little string in between the papers.

I also made a cute card that I want to share, too. I think I was inspired by a sketch or card I saw - though I can't be sure of which one. I'm pretty sure my recipient loved this!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pizza Bread

I saw a picture of pizza bread on Pinterest and knew immediately it was going to be a bread I wanted to make right away. It's a bread dough, with all of the ingredients you'd put on pizza (olives, onions, pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, etc) you roll it out, add cheese to the middle, close it up, then you bake it and dip in pizza or marinara sauce to eat. Let's just say that looks can be deceiving and so can well written recipes. Click here for the original recipe source and original picture.

The picture below is my pizza bread:

Pros: It looks delish!
Cons: No flavor, very bland and definitely needs SOMETHING! Don't make a double batch and cook it together, make 2 separate pizza breads. I think that because I made 1 loaf out of the double batch, it may have contributed to its demise.
Suggestions: I think maybe it needs a garlic butter twist to it, but not sure how that will fly with the dough rising or cooking. When using pepperoni or other meats, you need to render it to get the grease/fats off of it so it does not alter the dough... Maybe it could fare as a flatter bread, when completely baked you can add some garlic butter/salt to the top and then dip in sauce. I'll definitely try this again and change things up. It appears that even the author of the recipe had some separate trials too, when I read comments.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baking via Recipe

Since welcoming the KitchenAid to our home a couple weeks ago, I've been playing with lots of flour and yeast and everything that goes in between that! First up, Brian and Paul made homemade beer a couple weekends ago, and they had a ton of the spent grains left over. Curiously I asked, I wonder what you can do with these grains and Brian said he'd seen people mention they've made bread from it, out on the home brew forums.

So, I went online and looked for bread recipes using spent grains and I found a few that looked pretty good. Since I was just starting my venture into bread-land. I thought I should try something easy. I found this recipe here and used this recipe with no modifications. I didn't make the loaves artisan style, rather I put them in small loaf pans. I shared one loaf with friends and saved one for us.

**If I used this recipe again, I'd use more grains than it calls for, I'd cook the loaves a little longer and I'd like to put some oats on the top. I thought the taste was pretty good. I'd give it an A.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dinner via recipe

I had never made a homemade potato soup before, until this past January. I can't remember what peaked my interest, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Pinterest had something to do with it! All those pictures of soups in the winter months, nom nom nom!

I'm pretty positive I followed this recipe from "Hobbies Make Me Happy" with no modifications. This soup was so creamy and tasty, the recipe is definitely a keeper! It is by no means a healthy recipe, but it sure was tasty! I'll be making this again!

Monday, February 20, 2012

AND, 6 weeks later!

Goals update:
  • Lose at least twelve pounds - I've lost 2
  • Bake 12 different things from a recipe - I've baked 4+
  • Make 12 projects -I've completed 2
  • Post on my blog at least 12 times a month -THUMBS DOWN
  • Make a 2012 photo book - In-process
  • Try 12 new recipes for dinner - I've done 2
  • Read 12 books - THUMBS DOWN
  • Write 12 snail mail letters and send - I did  1
  • Enjoy 12 fun things to do - January - Bonfire
  • Throw out 12 things I don’t need - In-Process
  • Learn to quilt - Studying the How-to's
  • Go to the gym at least 12 times a month - THUMBS DOWN

It's been 6 weeks since my last blog post? I have no excuses, and I hope to get back to it more regularly.
Going to the gym, reading books and blog posts are going to be the top 3 that will linger in my mind, because they are most important to me, as well as the 3 where I am lacking progress!

I started a book, couldn't get into it and finally decided "it is ok" if I don't read it. "Water For Elephants" was the book. I got it for Christmas - I hate circuses and I just couldn't get into it. I'm going to pass it along to someone else who may want to read it. I still have "The Help."

One of my mangers gave me a KitchenAid stand mixer (she'd have given it to me, but I couldn't "take" it without giving her something for it - it was just too nice of a mixer!) and I have been practicing baking things (mostly breads) since I got it! I'm going to do a recipe review post of the things I have made; from baking and dinner recipes.

In January, Paul and I went to West Newbury, where our friends live to go to the Tendercrops Bonfire. It ended up just being me and Tasha going and we had a BLAST! (The boys stayed back at the house and watched a movie)  It was so much fun and we can't wait to go next year! The East Coast has been spared a real winter this year and it's been so mild, that it's almost like Spring out! I think to date, we've had like 7" of snow for the Boston area so far, I am not sure if that includes the freak storm we had last Halloween or not. I certainly don't remember getting 7" since then.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Project of Goals Update 1

It's now the 2nd week of January and I haven't quite got into my groove to do much. We are going out to do something *FUN* this weekend - we're going to a bonfire in West Newbury on Saturday night. It's through Tendercrop Farms - looks to be a lot of fun. Click here for more information, if you're interested!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


We're all capable of change. I'm not very good with personal "planned" change. This is something I struggle with every year as I choose to set new resolutions goals I'm likely to forget give up by the 2nd or 3rd week of the January! I know, my attitude is probably half of my battle. BUT, I go in with good intentions and that's counts for a good start. I'd like to work on the maintaining and sticking to my set/planned goals this year.

So without further ado, I declare my New Year Manifesto of Goals:

Twelve in Twenty-Twelve - A Project of Goals:
Lose at least twelve pounds
Bake 12 different things from a recipe
Make 12 projects
Post on my blog at least 12 times a month
Make a 2012 photo book
Try 12 new recipes for dinner
Read 12 books
Write 12 snail mail letters and send
Enjoy 12 fun things to do
Throw out 12 things I don’t need
Learn to quilt
Go to the gym at least 12 times a month

My goals are both fun and serious. Serious meaning losing at least 12 lbs and getting to the gym, fun is everything else. I went with the pick 12 things theme and I had been thinking about them for the last couple months. I really want to try to bake - something I guess. I like breads, cakes, cookies and by making them from scratch means I can make a small amount vs. a boxed recipe. I wanted to try 12 new recipes for dinner. Paul and I eat the SAME things over and over - I have a very bland diet and he is Italian. Enuf said! The rest is pretty much self-explanatory and for the most part = FUN!

I even made a desktop background for my computer to remind me of my goals - since I like cool looking backgrounds, I thought I'd try to make this look fun and stimulating, all the while piercing my brain with my goals staring at me in my face!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello Twenty-Twelve!

Ahhh, the busy-ness of the season! I certainly dropped the ball on the blog posting this past month, BUT I was working on my December Daily book - keeping a daily running commentary in a word document and saving lots of stuff to put in the book. I have a huge pile of ephemera and cards, etc. and I just ordered my photos and will go pick them up here in a couple hours. I'll probably set aside a little time tomorrow to work on it.

What are your New Year's Eve plans? We'll be heading out to Stewart's for a bit and then over to our friends place to bring in the New Year.

2011 was a year I'll never forget for many reasons. But I always love the magic of a new year, too. Cheers to twenty-twelve! Pop Champagne Ohhhh-Oh!

Auld Lang Syne
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

still working on it!

Trying to be in the Christmas spirit, but for some weird reason it just doesn't "feel" like it! Might have something to do with the 60* temps we have for the past month! It feels more like spring! Anywhoo, I'm still working on my December Daily project, slowly but surely. I've written all of the journaling down in a word doc, and I've taken a lot of pictures. I'm collecting some small things for my book, too.

Not sure what I'm waiting for to put it all in my book, but this is typical of how I do some things, I wait until I have a large amount of things to put together and then I roll with it, rather than doing it day by day! (This is a HUGE reason why I never attempt Project Life, or 365 projects // I simply don't keep up with them!)

I saw this cool Handmade Holiday at - it has some super cute ideas. Cheggit out!

Are you into those big huge "letters" like I am? I saw a cool tutorial (from Pinterest, of course) and here is the link on how to make them: Letter Art - I really need to get on this project before our 60* weather loses steam!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

hello december

How are you, December? Long time no see ... I've missed you!

I started my December Daily Book, but I won't start to add things until the weekend, when I have a few days to work with and can print some pictures. Here is the base of my book. I printed Rhonna Farrer's Christmas Junque collection and made a bunch of pages as well as daily journaling pages that I made with Photoshop. I kept it simple, because I'll add so much more content to it like cards, pictures, memorabilia, etc.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Week in Photos

This Week in Photos - a little late, but nonetheless noted!

1. New perfume
2. My fave!
3. Empty!
4. Thanksgiving Party @ Stewart's
5. Dr. appt
6. Thanksgiving
7. Around the window
8. On the table
9. Outside

Thankful November 30

Today I'm just thankful!

I'm excited to start on the December Daily project tomorrow! I pre-made my book and will share some pictures of the basic layout. All I have to do is a bit of journaling and picture taking! YAY!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photograph your Christmas

If you are participating in the December Daily this year, here is a 100+ photo ideas to add to your book!

Thankful November 29

Thankful for a sweet card I received today. ♥

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful November 28

Thankful that I was able to get my car washed, cleaned and detailed one more time before it gets too cold to do it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful November 27

Thankful to finish up the holiday lights so that it's ready to go and it was a beautiful day to do it, too! Now we just need some of the white stuff to make it enchanting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful November 26

Thankful for leftovers of turkey, potatoes and stuffing! Thankful for warm weather so we can decorate outside for the holidays. Thankful this is the LAST weekend our bad tenants will live here (more on that later!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful November 25

Thankful today that I don't leave my house on Black Friday to go shopping! I have no patience for crowded malls and stores.

On a happier note, today is our 1 year anniversary of adopting Wilameena! She has been a great addition to our family!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful November 24

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am truly thankful and blessed for our family and friends, my husband, my kitties, a healthy life, my home, and my job. Oh, and turkey and stuffing and potatoes and pumpkin pie!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful November 23

Thankful that I don't get caught up in the Black Friday/Sales Events hoopla. I pretty much don't leave my house Black Friday. I buy and make special gifts throughout the year so I don't have to get caught up in all the madness.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful November 22

I'm thankful for RESPONSIBLE people who spay and neuter their pets, to prevent unwanted animals to be brought into the world.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful November 21

I cannot lie...thankful for a 3 day work week!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This Week in Photos

OK, 3rd post today...This week in photos!

1. Stewart's
2. Pancakes!
3. Cool wine label
4. Be Grateful
5. Wreath I made
6. Fall has arrived!
8. Willy
9. Breaking Dawn at the movies!


Saw Breaking Dawn Part I - AMAZING! I even took a picture of the wedding scene to text to my friend, who quickly replied that it should be HER on the alter with Edward! HAHA! {love}

Thankful November 20

Ahhh, thankful for something fun today! Breaking Dawn Part I - I can't WAIT!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Wreath!

I made this cute wreath from Rhonna Farrer's Grateful Glam line with a great tutorial from The Polkadot Chair, it's pretty easy and inexpensive to make! Be Grateful! {love}

Thankful November 19

I'm thankful it's Saturday...Twilight's Breaking Dawn Part 1 is finally here, my fave LSS is having a sale, the sun is shining, what more could ya ask for!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful November 17

I'm thankful today for a super cool doctor that was part of my cancer treatment team 4 years ago. Dr. H was super cool, super funny and most of all a very very talented radiation oncologist! As medical director of the Winchester Radiation Oncology Center, I, along with 2 other friends were treated by one of the best. I'm thankful for him today because he has left us to visit the angels in heaven. I'll be thinking of him, and thanking him for being a gentle, caring, and wonderful doctor.

Radiation Oncology Center named after Dr. Richard Heidbreder
Giving Back; A one-time patient gives back to her doctor

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful November 16

I am thankful for the men and women who serve our country through the armed forces. They fight for our freedoms and the freedoms of people around the world. I am thankful for the police, fire, and rescue personnel because they sacrifice a lot to keep us safe!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful November 15

Another very special THANKFUL today. It was 20 years ago today, that I met a special couple from MI that would honor my wishes to give my baby girl a better life than I could provide. I had chosen them, or maybe they chose me through answered prayers. Either way, when we met a few months ago for the first time in over 19+ years, they definitely held up their end of the bargain and are just the most awesome parents ever! I am definitely blessed to have been given a gift, of their family in my life. Thank you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful November 14

Thankful today for another beautiful warm day. I know we'll be getting a cold spell soon, so I'm glad for these few warmer days we have left!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful November 13

Thankful today for great Fall foliage! We went to the Cape this weekend and the colors were pretty nice, although it's close to the end of the season down there. We still have beautiful color up here on the North Shore and I hope to have another week or so to enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful November 12

Thankful today for my job. (Especially since it's Saturday!) On a more serious note, I just love my work and the people I work with. They are like an extended family. When I'm with them, I know the great things we do and that makes me truly happy!